This is the literary weblog of Jeffrey W. Hull, M.D., a pediatrician. It is intended mainly as a place to maintain a collection of poetry created for the enjoyment of a few friends and as an archive for my family. All material is protected by US copyright.

Jeffrey Hull

Friday, June 24, 2005

Baby's Breath

Baby's breath, baby's breath, what mother would not give
To buy her baby one more breath
And let her baby live.

Born too soon, born too small, born to woe and sorrow;
Can pure desire in hearts afire
Spare her 'til tomorrow?

Savior's blood, Savior's blood, one drop may wash her clean,
But will it stay the hand of Death
And void his ghastly lien?

Mother's love, father's love, all the love around her —
Each fervent prayer a puff of air:
Spirit, now surround her!

Baby's breath, baby's breath, I heard her mother say:
In proud display the bride's bouquet
This happy wedding day.

© 2005 Jeffrey Hull


Baby's Breath. bavy's breath
We treeasure every one.

With ev'ry breath hope arises.

How slow the monts run

Pray save us from surprizes.
A poem simple and unflinching, with heart. It had not occurred to me before, the line through William Carlos Williams.

A valued friend some time ago baptized and buried his three terribly-premature grandsons. It still brings tears to my eyes that one of them was named Innocente.

The five senses implied in your verse! Little chest rhythm, ivory and bronze and chocolate color-tones of tender baby flesh, the sweet and warm smell of each little exhale, maybe with a murmur! Keeps us from forgetting what a tenuous, and temporary, mystery this life is. Physicians see it more directly, every day.

Remind us.
Thank you both for your kind comments. I have watched this desperate scenario too many times; it does not always end happily. In this poem, Grace intervenes.

Readers may be interested in Dr. Concklin's background, which he would be too modest to mention. He passed on his practice of 38 years to me in 1983 in Corpus Christi, Texas. He was a pediatrician before there was such a specialty. Now in his 90's, he is still active in teaching young doctors and passing on the practical wisdom only long years of experience and extraordinary work can provide. He is truly the "dean" of pediatrics in South Texas, and without question the most beloved physician for children in the history of that area.

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